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GRADING OUR GOVERNORS:


A REPORT CARD ON REOPENING STATES’ ECONOMIES

REOPEN AMERICA | ECONOMIC REPORT CARD


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GRADING OUR GOVERNORS:


A REPORT CARD ON REOPENING
STATES’ ECONOMIES
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Note: This scorecard is subject to change on a daily or week-to-week basis based off of
the decisions made by governors as they decide to safely and responsibly reopen their
economies.

This report grades the nation’s governors on how they have, and are continuing to, respond
to the coronavirus. Taking into account the severity of the virus in each state and the need
to keep their citizens safe and healthy, we assess how measured or damaging their actions
have been with respect to safeguarding the economic well-being of their citizens. We
examine lockdown orders, business closures, hospital and outdoor activity orders, and the
degree of punitive actions on enforcing these measures. Most importantly, we measure the
start dates for reopening in each state as the evidence is very strong that states with late
start dates will have much more severe recessions than states that open earlier.

The premise of this report is that – with a few exceptions in some metropolitan areas –
the time is long past for every state to reopen safely, smartly, and judiciously so as to
end the economic destruction and despair from lockdowns. Millions more Americans
will be pushed into unemployment lines, plunged into poverty, and lose their businesses
– forever. State revenue losses will be severe and continued shutdowns will require
dramatic cutbacks in state and local services for lack of money. Even from a public health
standpoint, the very negative effects from job loss, poverty, business failure, and so on are
causing social pathologies to soar – suicides, depression, stress, heart attack, spousal and
child abuse cases, drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, financial ruin, and deprivation.

The governors who get an A grade for protecting their economies from devastation are:
Jared Polis of Colorado, Ron DeSantis of Florida, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kim Reynolds of
Iowa, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Bill
Lee of Tennessee, and Mark Gordon of Wyoming. The governors who get an F and have
put their governors in most economic peril are Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Tom Wolf of
Pennsylvania, Ralph Northam of Virginia, and Tony Evers of Wisconsin. California Governor
Gavin Newsom of California received a D grade, Andrew Cuomo of New York a C grade,
and Texas Governor Greg Abbott of Texas a B grade. The worst performing Republican
governor was Larry Hogan of Maryland who received a D grade.

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HOW GOVERNORS HAVE RESPONDED TO THE CORONAVIRUS


The highly contagious novel coronavirus has killed more than 70,000 Americans and has
caused major illness to hundreds of thousands more Americans (as of this writing). The
impact of this pandemic on the health of the American people has been severe and has
frightened the American public like few events of modern times.

The other major impact of the pandemic has been the lightning bolt dealt to the American
economy. As a result of lockdowns to businesses and workers advised by the president
and put in place by the state governors, some 25 million to 30 million Americans have
been placed in unemployment, millions of businesses from coast to coast have gone
bankrupt, and nearly $4 trillion has been spent at all levels of government to combat and
contain the virus. The latest estimates are predicting a decline in American output (GDP)
will be between 25 and 30 percent of our GDP when all is said and done. Even the Great
Depression didn’t cause this rapid meltdown in the American economy.

Fortunately, the number of reported cases and death rates are slowing. The curve appears
to have flattened and even declined – hopefully for good.

From the start, the 50 governors of the United States have taken a lead role in terms of
how they locked down their economies and how strictly they enforced “stay-at-home”
orders and business closures. The response differed widely from state to state, with
some – such as Arkansas and Nebraska – never having issued stay at home orders or very
modest ones, and others – like California and New Jersey – issuing penalties, fines, and
in some cases even jail for breaking curfews and lockdowns. Every governor (sometimes
in consultation with state legislators and commissions) defined “essential” from “non-
essential” businesses. Essential businesses stayed open – in some cases with restricted
entry and hours of operation – and non-essential businesses required to stay shuttered.

In this report, we assess how the governors have handled the shutdowns in terms of
measuring how restrictive and damaging governors’ edicts have been when it comes to
their state’s economy. This isn’t just a rearview mirror assessment of the damage done to
jobs, businesses, and state revenues and debt over the last two months.

Much more importantly, President Trump has correctly granted authority to the individual
governors to decide when they open up for commerce and how they do it. These
decisions that governors are making right now in terms of how and when to open up their
economy – when businesses can open, when restaurants can start taking customers, when
schools, hospitals, and sports can start up again, etc. – will have a profound impact on
which states recover from the deep recession quickest and how soon workers will get back
into jobs.

We already are seeing very marked divergent patterns among the governors. For the most
part, the more pro-business states in the south, the southwest, and the mountain states
have begun lifting restrictions more quickly. The more liberal states of the northeast, the
west coast, and the Midwest have been more reluctant to lift lockdown orders.

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Economic Report Card on


State Coronavirus Responses

It may not seem of much consequence whether a state has opened in April or a governor
like Ralph Northam has decreed that the Commonwealth of Virginia will stay closed down
to the middle of June. But the start date emphasized in this study matters a lot. A recent
study by Laffer Associates finds that states that open up earlier will have substantially
better economic recoveries than states that stay closed for another month or so.1 That
study finds that early opening states could be in recovery by the end of the Summer
of 2020, while the laggard states could be in recession for six months or more. This is
because businesses, stores, shopping centers, restaurants, and office parks are much more
likely to fail if their doors aren’t opened sooner rather than later. Every day counts.

Another factor to take into account is the cross border migration of businesses and
workers. It has been long-established that businesses, factories, people, and workers move
to places that are business-friendly and “where the jobs are.” The movement of about 3
million to 4 million people from blue states to red states may accelerate if blue states are
way behind red states in opening and continue to tilt economic and political power to the
states like Florida, Georgia, Texas, Tennessee, and Utah.

We believe that every governor is making a good faith effort to weigh the risks of the
health of their citizens versus the economic wellbeing of their state. No governor wants
to impoverish their citizens. No governor wants to see any of their citizens get ill or even
die. In this study, we don’t get into the motives of governors – we assume their motives are
pure. But these decisions they are making today will have long-lasting consequences for
the economic opportunities and the prosperity of their citizens for many years to come.

We also flatly reject the claim made in the media and by some politicians that governors
that want to open up their states for business are putting greed, profits and business over
saving lives. This is, and has always been a false narrative – a Sophie’s choice that never
has existed. The reality is that there are very negative health consequences to economic
lockdowns and “stay-at-home” orders.

1 Arthur B. Laffer, Ph.D. and Stephen Moore, “When and Where Will the Recovery Happen? A National and State by State Analysis of
the Economic Response to Coronavirus,” Laffer Associates, April 28, 2020 https://www.scribd.com/document/459058437/Arthur-
Laffer-and-Steve-Moore-on-how-states-will-recover-from-the-coronavirus

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We acknowledge and take into account in this report card that some governors are governing
states that have been heavily impacted by coronavirus. A lockdown in those states may make
a lot more sense than in other areas with low population density with few infections. The chart
below shows the percentage of deaths as a share of population by state.

The chart shows that coronavirus has spread very unevenly – in New York City and its
suburbs, including parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, there was a genuine acute crisis
that tested health system capacity. In most of middle America we had the opposite crisis
– empty doctors officesemergency rooms while non-COVID-19 patients were not seeking
treatment under the misimpression that the hospitals were overwhelmed.2 The crisis in
New York peaked about three weeks ago, and now governors across America are wise to
start up their economic engines and bring an end to the massive economic hardship that
has been and continues to be imposed on Americans.

We have divided the states into four tiers to consider the severity of the disease threat
relative to state lockdown policies. The high severity states have more than 100 deaths
per million population as of April 27, medium severity 30 to 99 deaths per million, and low
severity less than 30 deaths per million.

The premise of this report is that there must be appropriate urgency to the task of
reopening the country, because there are significant direct and indirect health and
economic consequences of delay.

The direct consequences come from failure to provide non-COVID health care.

Even the New York Times, which stoked as much coronavirus panic as anyone, now admits:
“ERs have about half the normal number of patients, and heart and stroke units are nearly
empty, according to doctors at many urban medical centers. Some medical experts fear
more people are dying from untreated emergencies than from the coronavirus.”3

Cancer care has also largely been suspended. The consequences of that over the next
several years could be enormous. “The number of deaths due to the disruption of cancer

2 William La Jeunesse, “Outside coronavirus hot spots, medical practices suffering from lack of patients,” Fox News, April 13, 2020
https://www.foxnews.com/health/coronavirus-outside-doctors-medical-practices-lack-of-patients
3 Gina Kolata, “Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, Heart and Stroke Patients Go Missing,” The New York Times, April 25, 2020 https://www.
nytimes.com/2020/04/25/health/coronavirus-heart-stroke.html

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services is likely to outweigh the number of deaths from the coronavirus itself over the
next five years,” predicts Richard Sullivan, director of the Institute of Cancer Policy at
King’s College London.4

The indirect health consequences come from economic devastation. Skyrocketing


unemployment will lead to rampant substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide, drug
overdoses, and other severe public health harms. This slide comes from professor Greg
Mankiw’s Harvard lecture on the subject:5

As the Laffer study and others show,


supply chains are beginning to break
down, and every day of closure now
risks going from a severe depression
to a complete economic collapse.
Economic opening can be done with
mitigation measures to limit the risk of a
major outbreak, but in the vast majority
of America hospitals are empty, not
overwhelmed, meaning the balance
of risks is clearly in favor of opening
as quickly and aggressively as can be
done compatible with best hygiene and
health-conscious practices – such as
social distancing at the workplace and
in stores, gloves, masks, disinfectants,
testing, screening, and so on.

This report assesses how well each governor is responding to this increasingly undeniable
reality that America faces an urgent imperative of limiting the health and economic
catastrophe caused by lockdowns. Those who don’t agree with that assessment are free to
discard these grades. Those who do should pay careful attention to how their governors
are performing.

This report also has a utility to those who are looking to relocate or start up a business,
or store or restaurant – or those who are thinking of investing in commercial real estate or
buy a home in one state versus another. This would not be a good time to start a business
in New Jersey or Connecticut. Florida’s real estate boom will be enhanced.

We have given each governor a score based on the extent to which they are banning
economic activities, restricting individual freedom of movement, and failing to provide a
clear timetable around which citizens and businesses can plan. We considered the extent
of the virus threat in each state to calibrate expectations by separating them into three
tiers – high, medium and low death rates from the coronavirus. We also take into account
specific actions that governors have taken rightly or wrongly in response to the virus that
have impacted their state’s economy.

4 Lucy Johnson, “Cancer deaths set to soar amid coronavirus crisis,” Sunday Express, April 12, 2020 https://www.express.co.uk/news/
uk/1268059/cancer-deaths-coronavirus-nhs
5 Greg Mankiw, “178.200 Intermediate Macroeconomics Lecture,” Massey University, https://www.coursehero.com/file/17457768/
N200-1-16/

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The governors with A and B grades are already moving to restore freedom and
opportunity, and trusting individuals to follow best practices or isolate themselves based
on their own risk assessments. The D and F grade governors continue to arbitrarily ban
activities without respect to any sensible risk versus benefit calculation – and are therefore
taking the largest risk of all – the risk of catastrophic economic collapse.

ECONOMIC REPORT CARD ON GOVERNOR CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

Colorado A Jared Polis (D)

Florida A Ron DeSantis (R)

Georgia A Brian Kemp (R)

Iowa A Kim Reynolds (R)

Nebraska A Pete Ricketts (R)

Oklahoma A Kevin Stitt (R)

South Dakota A Kristi Noem (R)

Tennessee A Bill Lee (R)

Wyoming A Mark Gordon (R)

Alabama B Kay Ivey (R)

Alaska B Mike Dunleavy (R)

Arkansas B Asa Hutchinson (R)

Louisiana B John Bel Edwards (D)

Mississippi B Tate Reeves (R)

Missouri B Mike Parson (R)

Montana B Steve Bullock (D)

North Dakota B Doug Burgum (R)

South Carolina B Henry McMaster (R)

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Texas B Greg Abbott (R)

Utah B Gary Herbert (R)

Arizona C Doug Ducey (R)

Idaho C Brad Little (R)

Indiana C Eric Holcomb (R)

Kentucky C Andy Beshear (D)

Massachusetts C Charlie Baker (R)

Minnesota C Tim Walz (D)

Nevada C Steve Sisolak (D)

New Hampshire C Chris Sununu (R)

New York C Andrew Cuomo (D)

Ohio C Mike DeWine (R)

Vermont C Phil Scott (R)

California D Gavin Newsom (D)

Connecticut D Ned Lamont (D)

Delaware D John Carney (D)

Hawaii D David Ige (D)

Illinois D J.B. Pritzker (D)

Kansas D Laura Kelly (D)

Maine D Janet Mills (D)

Maryland D Larry Hogan (R)

Michigan D Gretchen Whitmer (D)

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New Mexico D Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)

North Carolina D Roy Cooper (D)

Oregon D Kate Brown (D)

Rhode Island D Gina Raimondo (D)

Washington D Jay Inslee (D)

West Virginia D Jim Justice (R)

District of Columbia F Muriel Bowser (D)

New Jersey F Phil Murphy (D)

Pennsylvania F Tom Wolf (D)

Virginia F Ralph Northam (D)

Wisconsin F Tony Evers (D)

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GOVERNORS PLANS TO REOPEN STATES

ALABAMA: B
“If the government kills a business, the government can’t print enough money to bring it
back to life,” Gov. Ivey said.
“Alabama’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) plans to follow state
task force recommendations, which include first allowing small retailers, restaurants and
other businesses to reopen with protective measures in place”6 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 37.3
• # of Unemployment claims: 249,685
• Unemployment increase: 2925.07%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: April 30th, moves to “safer-at-home” order
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 30
· non-essential: reopened 5pm April 30, retail at 50% capacity, beaches
· restaurants: takeout only
• Governor: Kay Ivey
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: April 10, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

ALASKA: B
“Alaska’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 21. Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) announced
April 15 that nonessential medical procedures could restart May 4”7 (The Hill)
“Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced on Tuesday that restaurants and other retail businesses
can begin offering more services on Friday, if they follow certain health guidelines.
Anchorage businesses will be opening three days later, on Monday, according to
Dunleavy”8 (KTOO)
• # of deaths per million: 12.3
• # of Unemployment claims: 39,624
• Unemployment increase: 1366.47%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 4
· non-essential: April 24 retail at 25%; personal care services at 1:1 employee-to-
customer ratio

6 Alicia Cohn, “Here’s when all 50 states plan to reopen after coronavirus restrictions,” The Hill, April 20, 2020 https://thehill.com/
homenews/state-watch/493717-heres-when-all-50-states-plan-to-reopen-after-coronavirus-restrictions
7 Cohn, The Hill
8 Andrew Kitchenman, “Dunleavy says restaurants and other retail businesses can reopen Friday,” KTOO, April 21, 2020 https://www.
ktoo.org/2020/04/21/watch-live-dunleavy-administration-to-announce-mandates-reopening-alaskas-economy/

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· restaurants: April 24 at 25% capacity


• Governor: Mike Dunleavy
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: December 3, 2018
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

ARIZONA: C
Certain Arizona businesses could reopen on a limited basis as early as Monday under a
gradual phasing-out of Arizona’s stay-at-home order, but the broader directive will remain
in effect through May 15, Gov. Doug Ducey announced. (AZ Central)
• # of deaths per million: 28.6
• # of cases per million: 68
• # of Unemployment claims: 302,802
• Unemployment increase: 1803.46%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1
· non-essential: May 4 for delivery, curbside pickup, appointment; May 8 fully open
· restaurants: May 12
• Governor: Doug Ducey
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 5, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

ARKANSAS: B
“Arkansas does not have a stay-at-home order. On April 18, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R)
launched an economic recovery task force and said he hopes to begin to ease restrictions
in the state on May 4”9 (The Hill)
• Governor Hutchinson announced these dates for decisions regarding lifting
restrictions:10 (gov.arkansas.gov)
· April 29: Restaurants
· April 30: Gyms and indoor recreational facilities
· May 1: Beauty salons and barber shops
· May 4: Places of worship and larger venues
• # of deaths per million: 13.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 121,951
• Unemployment increase: 1849.49%

9 Cohn, The Hill


10 Updates from Governor Hutchinson, https://govstatus.egov.com/ar-covid-19?_ga=2.202747537.1620409877.1588535685-
1624209376.1588535685

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• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: April 30 for gyms; May 1 for personal care services
· restaurants: May 11 at 33% capacity
• Governor: Asa Hutchinson
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 13, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

CALIFORNIA: D
“There is no set end date for California’s stay-at-home order. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has
joined a multi state task force, along with Oregon and Washington, to discuss reopening.
He warned that some restrictions, such as masks in restaurants and bans against large
gatherings, will stay in place through the summer”11 (The Hill)
• Last week, Governor Newsom announced six indicators that would drive California’s
decision to gradually modify portions of the state’s stay-at-home order. They
include:12 (gov.ca.gov)
· Expanding testing and contact tracing to be able to identify and isolate those
with the virus;
· Preventing infection in people who are most at risk;
· Being able to handle surges in hospitals and the health care delivery system;
· Developing therapeutics to meet demand;
· Ensuring businesses, schools and child care facilities can support physical
distancing; and
· Determining when to reinstate certain measures like the stay-at-home order if
need be.
• # of deaths per million: 32.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 2,107,854
• Unemployment increase: 1693.91%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 22
• Governor: Gavin Newsom
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

11 Cohn, The Hill


12 Governor Newsom Outlines Six Critical Indicators the State will Consider Before Modifying the Stay-at-Home Order and Other
COVID-19 Interventions, April 14, 2020 https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/04/14/governor-newsom-outlines-six-critical-indicators-the-
state-will-consider-before-modifying-the-stay-at-home-order-and-other-covid-19-interventions/

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COLORADO: A
“The state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 26. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D)
has said social distancing measures will remain in place until “scientists are able to deliver
a truly effective clinical treatment” for COVID-19. He said Monday that after April 26, the
state would enter a “safer at home” phase where residents are recommended to stay home
but not required to”13 (The Hill)
Colorado will require all nursing homes and assisted living facilities to submit plans by May
1 on how they’ll keep residents safe.14 (CPR News)
The Mesa County Board of Commissioners sent Gov. Polis a letter and a draft plan for
re-opening its businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. County Commissioner Rose
Pugliese said the proposal has several stages and it still requires many safety measures,
like social distancing and the encouragement of work telecommuting.15 (CPR News)
• # of deaths per million: 83.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 219,565
• Unemployment increase: 3360.60%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: April 27 retail open for curbside; May 1 retail open for in-store
customers and personal services; May 4 nonessential offices open to
employees with staffing less than 50%
· other: some counties stay-at-home until May 8
• Governor: Jared Polis
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 8, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

CONNECTICUT: D
“Connecticut’s stay-at-home order expires May 20. Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has set up an
advisory board to decide how to reopen the state. Connecticut is allied with Delaware,
Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island in a multistate effort to coordinate
reopening”16 (The Hill).
On the 23rd of April, Gov. Lamout announced members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory
Group. (portal.ct.gov) He then posted to his Twitter “I’m as anxious to reopen our economy &
get back to business as everyone else, but we need to do it in a thoughtful way.”17

13 Cohn, The Hill


14 Lindsay Fendt, “Senior Homes Prove To Be Hotspots In Coronavirus Crisis,” CPR News, April 4, 2020 https://www.cpr.
org/2020/04/04/senior-homes-prove-to-be-hotspots-in-coronavirus-crisis/
15 Dave Burdick, “Colorado’s Stay-At-Home Order Will End, Gov. Polis Says, Outlining A New Phase Of Coronavirus ‘Marathon’,” CPR
News, April 20, 2020 https://www.cpr.org/2020/04/20/as-colorado-stay-at-home-order-nears-end-gov-polis-outlines-new-phase-
of-coronavirus-marathon/
16 Cohn, The Hill
17 Governor Lamont Announces Members of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, April 23, 2020 https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-
the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2020/04-2020/Governor-Lamont-Announces-Members-of-the-Reopen-Connecticut-Advisory-
Group

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• # of deaths per million: 399.1


• # of Unemployment claims: 170,271
• Unemployment increase: 1285.56%
• Governor: Ned Lamont
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 9, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: High

DELAWARE: D
“Delaware’s stay-at-home order lasts until May 15. Gov. John Carney (D) has said the state
is far from ready to reopen for business”18 (The Hill)
Before we can consider reopening Delaware’s economy, we must meet the following
criteria, based on federal guidelines:19 (news.delaware.gov)
• WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FIRST:
· 4 days of declining symptoms and presumed positive cases
· Ability to treat COVID-19 patients in hospitals without crisis care
· Extensive testing programs for health care workers
• # of deaths per million: 84.2
• # of Unemployment claims: 41,403
• Unemployment increase: 3256.44%
• Governor: John Carney
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 17, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: High

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: F
“The city’s stay-at-home order expires May 15. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser
(D)”20 (The Hill)
Quandra Nesbitt, director of the D.C. The Department of Health presented “most-stringent”
and “less stringent” plans on April 30. Under most stringent, the lockdown is extended three
months. Under less stringent, the lockdown is extended two months.21 (NBC Washington)
• # of deaths per million: 158.7
• # of Unemployment claims: 33,894
• Unemployment increase: 3157.57%

18 Cohn, The Hill


19 Delaware’s Recovery, https://governor.delaware.gov/delawares-recovery/
20 Cohn, The Hill
21 NBC Washington, “DC May Not Reopen for Another 2 Months, Officials Say,” April 29, 2020 https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/
local/dc-may-not-reopen-for-another-3-months-officials-say/2288790/

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• Governor: Muriel Bowser


• Party Affiliation: Mayor- Democrat
• State Risk Tier Level: High

FLORIDA: A
“Florida’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) gave a task
force until April 24 to come up with a plan to safely reopen the state. Beaches reopened
for “essential activities” in parts of the state on April 17”22 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 40.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 855,441
• Unemployment increase: 3951.01%
• Reopening businesses:
• elective procedures: May 4
· non-essential: May 4 for retail at 25% capacity for all but 3 highest populated
counties
· restaurants: May 4 at 25% capacity except 3 counties
• Governor: Ron DeSantis
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 8, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

GEORGIA: A
Georgia’s stay-at-home order expired April 30. “Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced Monday
he would allow some businesses, including gyms and hair salons, to reopen and elective
surgeries to resume beginning April 24”23 (The Hill)
Trump advises against what Gov. Kemp is reopening so quickly.
“‘I think it’s too soon,’ said the president, who joined several mayors in questioning Gov.
Brian Kemp, a Republican, who had said some businesses could resume on Friday”24
• # of deaths per million: 75.2
• # of cases per million: 166
• # of Unemployment claims: 950,390
• Unemployment increase: 4801.07%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 24
· non-essential: April 24

22 Cohn, The Hill


23 Cohn, The Hill
24 Rick Rojas, “Trump Criticizes Georgia Governor for Decision to Reopen State,” New York Times, April 22, 2020 https://www.nytimes.
com/2020/04/22/us/trump-georgia-governor-kemp-coronavirus.html

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· restaurants: April 27
• Governor: Brian Kemp
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 14, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

HAWAII: D
“Hawaii’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30. Gov. David Ige (D) has said he’s
taking a “phased-in” approach to reopening the state for business”25 (The Hill)
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending the city’s stay-at-home order through May 31, but
says city parks will reopen Saturday for limited exercise activities”26 (Hawaii News Now).
• # of deaths per million: 7.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 114,295
• Unemployment increase: 3009.22%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 25
· non-essential: May 1, florists
• Governor: David Ige
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: December 1, 2014
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

IDAHO: C
“Idaho’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30. Gov. Brad Little (R) extended the
order despite opposition within his own party. He has said some nonessential businesses
can reopen on May 1, so long as they “prepare operational plans” that include limits on the
number of people in a business at a time”27 (The Hill)
Idaho will reevaluate the phases every two weeks to see if they can move forward28
• # of deaths per million: 26.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 61,891
• Unemployment increase: 2135.47%
• Reopening businesses:
· non-essential: May 16 for gyms and personal care services
· restaurants: May 16 expected if reopening plans are approved

25 Cohn, The Hill


26 Hawaii News Now, “City parks reopen for exercise only. Here’s what you are allowed to do,” April 21, 2020 https://www.
hawaiinewsnow.com/2020/04/21/live-mayor-announce-plans-modify-citys-stay-at-home-order/
27 Cohn, The Hill
28 “Idaho Rebounds: Our Path to Prosperity,” May 1, 2020 https://rebound.idaho.gov/stages-of-reopening/

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· other: May 1 daycare


• Governor: Brad Little
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

ILLINOIS: D
“Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is coordinating reopening the state with the governors of Indiana,
Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin”29 (The Hill)
• Stay at home order will now extend through May 31st (WGN-TV)
• # of deaths per million: 115.8
• # of Unemployment claims: 342,201
• Unemployment increase: 1759.74%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1 (some)
· non-essential: May 1 retail for delivery/pickup
• Governor: J.B. Pritzker
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 14, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: High

INDIANA: C
Indiana’s stay-at-home order expires April 30. “Governor Eric Holcomb announced his
plan... includes 5 stages and Indiana is already in stage 1 which allowed elective surgeries,
essential business and critical infrastructure. There will be four requirements to begin the
stages: The number of hospitalized patients statewide has decreased for 14 straight days.
The state retains surge capacity to handle patients needing ICU care and ventilators. To be
able to test all Hoosiers with COVID-19 symptoms. Have the ability to contact all individuals
who came in contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 and expand contact
tracing.” (WTHR)
• # of deaths per million: 94.3
• # of Unemployment claims: 316,248
• Unemployment increase: 4212.75%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 26
· retail and commercial businesses at 50 percent capacity: May 4
• Governor: Eric Holcomb

29 Cohn, The Hill

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• Party Affiliation: Republican


• Sworn In: January 9, 2017
• State Risk Tier: Medium

IOWA: A
“Iowa has the equivalent of a stay-at-home order until April 30. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R)
has mandated through a State Public Health Emergency Declaration that all nonessential
businesses remain closed until then”30 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 26.3
• # of Unemployment claims: 135,995
• Unemployment increase: 2427.95%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: May 1 gyms, malls, retail in 77 counties at 50% capacity; other
counties restricted until May 15
· restaurants: May 1 in 77 counties at 50%; other counties restricted until May 15
• Governor: Kim Reynolds
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: May 24, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

KANSAS: D
“Phase one will begin on Monday, May 4th, at which point I intend to lift the statewide Stay
Home order,” Gov. Laura Kelly
• # of deaths per million: 37.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 111,099
• Unemployment increase: 2870.91%
• Reopening businesses:
· restaurants with 6 feet between tables: May 4
• Still closed until next phase, no sooner than May 18: Bars and night clubs, Non-tribal
Casinos, Theaters, museums, and other indoor leisure spaces, Fitness centers and
gyms, nail salons, barber shops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors and
other personal service businesses.
• Governor: Laura Kelly
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 14, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

30 Cohn, The Hill

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KENTUCKY: C
“Kentucky’s “Healthy at Home” order has no set end date. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said he
plans to follow federal benchmarks for reopening”31 (The Hill)
Numbers are rapidly declining, which has Gov. Beshear wanting to reopen very soon and
start working on phase 1.32 (FOX19)
• # of deaths per million: 38.3
• # of Unemployment claims: 335,400
• Unemployment increase: 4545.70%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: nonessential health care services April 27; elective
surgeries at 50% capacity May 13
· manufacturing, construction, vehicle or vessel dealerships, professional services
(50%): May 11
· retail, churches: May 20
· barbers, salons, cosmetology, businesses, and similar services: May 25
• Governor: Andy Beshear
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: December 10, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

LOUISIANA: B
Gov. John Bel Edwards announced he will extend Louisiana’s Stay at Home order until May
15 (release)
“Under the extended order, which will be issued on Friday, May 1, businesses that
previously were directed to be closed will remain closed, including salons, barber shops,
bars and casinos, among other things.” (release)
“Restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only,
without tableside service.” (release)
• # of deaths per million: 302.2
• # of Unemployment claims: 272,313
• Unemployment increase: 5250.58%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 17 time-sensitive elective procedures
· non-essential: May 1 for mall stores that offer curbside retail
· restaurants: May 1 for outside dining without waiter service

31 Cohn, The Hill


32 Brian Planalp, “Beshear looking to Georgia ahead of Kentucky’s restart: ‘We don’t want to be first,’” May 1, 2020 https://www.fox19.
com/2020/05/01/watch-live-gov-beshear-updates-kentuckys-reopening-plans/

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• Governor: John Bel Edwards


• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 11, 2016
• State Risk Tier Level: High

MAINE: D
“Governor Janet Mills extended Maine’s stay-at-home order and laid out a gradual plan to
re-open Maine’s economy. The stay-at home-order was extended to May 31. The new order
will continue to have Mainers stay home, with exceptions of already permitted activities. It
will also allow Mainers to visit businesses and participate in activities under stage 1 of the
re-opening plan.” (WGME).
“While we all dream of going back to the way things were, we have to face the hard truth
that the coronavirus continues to be a threat and that life will not return to normal soon”33
(maine.gov)
• # of deaths per million: 26.8
• # of Unemployment claims: 55,844
• Unemployment increase: 2994.76%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1 Health care providers
· non-essential: May 1 for some personal care services, auto dealerships; June 1
gyms, nail salons, retail stores; July 1 hotels, bars, spas, tattoo parlors,
massage facilities
· restaurants: June 1
· other: June 1 day camps
• Governor: Janet Mills
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 2, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

MARYLAND: D
“Maryland does not have an end date for its stay-at-home order or its executive order to
wear face coverings in any retail business or on public transportation. Gov. Larry Hogan (R)
has promised a “gradual rollout” of any plan to reopen”34 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 107.8
• # of Unemployment claims: 219,069
• Unemployment increase: 2510.24%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: indefinite

33 “Governor Mills Outlines Vision for a Gradual, Safe Reopening of Maine’s Economy,” April 23, 2020 https://www.maine.gov/
governor/mills/news/governor-mills-outlines-vision-gradual-safe-reopening-maines-economy-2020-04-23
34 Cohn, The Hill

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• Reopening businesses: The stay-at-home order can be lifted, many small businesses
can reopen, lower-risk community activities and quality-of-life improvements
can resume this stage could see the reopening of golf courses, the return of
recreational boating and fishing, elective outpatient surgeries can resume
• Governor: Larry Hogan
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 21, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: High

MASSACHUSETTS: C
“Gov. Charlie Baker says nonessential businesses will not start reopening until May 18 at the
earliest.” (WCVB)
“According to Baker we are still in a surge of COVID-19 cases. Last week, Massachusetts
joined a partnership of northeast states to develop a regional strategy to reopen the
economy”35 (WWLP)
• # of deaths per million: 284.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 323,805
• Unemployment increase: 2330.49%
• Governor: Charlie Baker
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 8, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: High

MICHIGAN: D
“The state of emergency gives Whitmer the authority to issue executive orders related
to coronavirus, such as a stay-at-home order which is in effect until May 15. On Thursday
night, Whitmer also signed an executive order keeping bars, gyms, casinos and theaters
closed and only allowing restaurants to do delivery or takeout service through May 28.”
(CBS News)
• # of deaths per million: 257.8
• # of Unemployment claims: 744,880
• Unemployment increase: 4404.61%
• Reopening businesses:
· non-essential: April 24 for plant nurseries, bike repair shops; May 7 for
construction
• Governor: Gretchen Whitmer
• Party Affiliation: Democrat

35 Hector Molina, “Governor Baker to look into how Massachusetts would reopen when ready,” WWLP, April 22, 2020 https://www.
wwlp.com/news/massachusetts/governor-baker-to-look-into-how-massachusetts-would-reopen-when-ready/

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• Sworn In: January 1, 2019


• State Risk Tier Level: High

MINNESOTA: C
“A new executive order Thursday from Gov. Tim Walz will extend Minnesota’s stay-at-
home order two more weeks. The order, effective March 27, was set to expire Monday, but
Executive Order 20-48 extends it to 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 17. Restaurants, bars and other
public accommodations will remain closed until then.” (St Cloud Times)
• # of deaths per million: 28.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 278,266
• Unemployment increase: 3257.80%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: Hospitals decide when to resume
· non-essential: April 27 for industrial, manufacturing and office settings
• Governor: Tim Walz
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

MISSISSIPPI: B
“Mississippi’s stay-at-home order expires April 27. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) indicated he plans
to begin allowing businesses to reopen on that date”36 (The Hill)
“‘I’ve said it before and I will say it again: There is no such thing as a nonessential business
to the owners and the people who depend on that business to provide for their families,’
the Republican governor said”37 (USNews)
• # of deaths per million: 61.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 127,443
• Unemployment increase: 3510.15%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: April 27 for retail at 50% capacity; May 11 (expected) for barbers
and hair salons
· restaurants: Limited to curbside pickup and delivery
• Governor: Tate Reeves
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 14, 2020

36 Cohn, The Hill


37 Emily Wagster Pettis, “Mississippi Gov Hints at Reopening Some Businesses Next Week,” U.S. News, April 22, 2020 https://www.
usnews.com/news/best-states/mississippi/articles/2020-04-21/mississippi-gov-restarting-economy-wont-be-light-switch

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• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

MISSOURI: B
“Missouri’s stay-at-home order is set to expire May 3. Gov. Mike Parson (R) has said
Missouri’s “reopening efforts will be careful, deliberate, and done in phases,” and that some
local municipalities may leave restrictions in place longer than those at the state level”38
(The Hill)
“Missouri Gov. Mike Parson remains steadfast in his decision to reopen businesses May
4 after the current stay-at-home order expires and promised to release preliminary
guidelines by Monday for reopening the economy”39 (KSHB)
• # of deaths per million: 36.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 246,262
• Unemployment increase: 2734.04%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 4
· non-essential: May 4
· other: Kansas City’s stay-at-home order until May 15
• Governor: Mike Parson
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: June 1, 2018
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

MONTANA: B
Montana’s stay-at-home order expired April 24. Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced a
phased reopening starting Sunday, April 26, when churches were allowed to reopen with
social distancing measures in place.40 (The Hill)
“Saying his state has flattened the curve of coronavirus spread, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
on Wednesday released a plan outlining how churches, businesses and schools can open
their doors again over the next three weeks”41 (npr.org)
• # of deaths per million: 11.2
• # of Unemployment claims: 46,028
• Unemployment increase: 2189.82%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: Hospital Assn. determined can resume
· non-essential: April 27 for businesses, including retail, at reduced capacity

38 Cohn, The Hill


39 Tod Palmer, “Missouri Gov. Parson promises guidelines Monday for reopening economy,” April 23, 2020 https://www.kshb.com/
news/coronavirus/missouri-gov-parson-promises-guidelines-monday-for-reopening-economy
40 Cohn, The Hill
41 Nicky Ouellet, “Montana Governor Announces Phased Reopening Plan,” NPR, April 22, 2020 https://www.npr.org/sections/
coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/22/842152404/montana-governor-announces-phased-reopening-plan

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· restaurants: May 4 for restaurants and bars at 50% capacity


• Governor: Steve Bullock
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 7, 2013
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

NEBRASKA: A
“Nebraska does not have a stay-at-home order. Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) has said social
distancing measures and closures of restaurants and other businesses will remain in place
through April”42 (The Hill)
“Starting May 4, Governor Ricketts says elective surgeries, veterinarian services, and dental
and optometry services can resume. This includes ambulatory surgical centers”43 (FOX42)
• # of deaths per million: 17.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 55,673
• Unemployment increase: 2906.78%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 4
· restaurants: May 4 at 50% capacity in certain regions
• Governor: Pete Ricketts
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 8, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

NEVADA: C
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the stay-at-home order will be extended through
May 15 with easing restrictions starting May 1. “This new directive signed today will allow
Nevadans expanded outdoor and recreational activities and provide some relief for our small
business owners,” according to a press release from the governor’s office. (Fox 5 Vegas)
• Sisolak told reporters the state had to meet four requirements before beginning
phase one of the reopening plan:
· Bending the curve downward
· Keeping hospitals running smoothly
· Protecting virus-vulnerable populations
· Maintaining virus-prevention protocols
• # of deaths per million: 52.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 178,835

42 Cohn, The Hill


43 Teia Goodwin, “Nebraska governor announces plans to reopen after directed health measure,” Fox KPMT, April 20, 2020 https://
fox42kptm.com/news/local/nebraska-governor-announces-reopening-plans-after-directed-health-measure

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• Unemployment increase: 3121.13%


• Governor: Steve Sisolak
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

NEW HAMPSHIRE: C
“Sununu’s plan branded as “Stay at Home 2.0” that extends current restrictions to May 31
while also permitting “flex openings” for retailers, hair stylists and drive-in movie theaters.”
(Manchester Union Leader)
• # of deaths per million: 30.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 83,585
• Unemployment increase: 6011.75%
• Governor: Chris Sununu
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 5, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

NEW JERSEY: F
“New Jersey’s stay-at-home order does not have an end date. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has
said “there will be blood on our hands” if the order is lifted too soon”44 (The Hill)
“We’re not in a position yet to reopen our state and jump-starting our economy. I still think
that’s weeks away,’ said Murphy”45 (ABC 6)
• # of deaths per million: 535.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 495,533
• Unemployment increase: 2020.56%
• Governor: Phil Murphy
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 16, 2018
• State Risk Tier Level: High

NEW MEXICO: D
“New Mexico state leadership on Thursday announced the extension of the state’s
emergency public health order through May 15.” (KFOX)
• # of deaths per million: 27.7

44 Cohn, The Hill


45 Trish Hartman, “Despite new testing options from Rutgers, Gov. Murphy says New Jersey reopening is ‘weeks away,’”ABC 6, April 23,
2020 https://6abc.com/new-jersey-reopening-nj-coronavirus-cases-100-000/6125429/

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• # of Unemployment claims: 58,513


• Unemployment increase: 2583.26%
• Governor: Michelle Lujan Grisham
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 1, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

NEW YORK: C
“New York’s stay-at-home order lasts until May 15”46 (The Hill)
“‘We’re going to make reopening decisions on a regional basis based on that region’s facts
and circumstances,’ he said during his daily briefing”47 (Politico)
• # of deaths per million: 982.0
• # of Unemployment claims: 943,868
• Unemployment increase: 2225.63%
• Reopening businesses:
· non-essential: May 15 (likely) for some parts of the state, w/ first construction
and manufacturing, then more essential businesses w/ lower infection risk,
then less essential industries w/ higher risk
• Governor: Andrew Cuomo
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 1, 2011
• State Risk Tier Level: High

NORTH CAROLINA: D
North Carolina’s stay-at-home order extended to May 8. (governor.nc.gov)
• # of deaths per million: 23.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 282,092
• Unemployment increase: 4497.23%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: May 8 retail
• Governor: Roy Cooper
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 1, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

46 Cohn, The Hill


47 Bill Mahoney and Shannon Young, “Cuomo commits to reopening New York state regionally,” Politico, April 21, 2020 https://www.
politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/04/21/cuomo-commits-to-reopening-new-york-state-regionally-1278366

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NORTH DAKOTA: B
“North Dakota does not have a stay-at-home order. However, nonessential businesses are
closed in the state through April 30. Gov. Doug Burgum (R) plans to partially reopen the
state on May 1”48 (The Hill)
“Gov. Doug Burgum (R) on Wednesday released guidelines to reopen on May 1 North Dakota
businesses that were closed because of the new coronavirus epidemic” (advisory.com)
• # of deaths per million: 17.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 33,669
• Unemployment increase: 4131.58%
• Reopening businesses:
· non-essential: May 1
· restaurants: May 1 at 50% including bars
• Governor: Doug Burgum
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: December 15, 2016
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

OHIO: C
“Late Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health released information on the new order by
ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton, entitled ‘Stay Safe Ohio,’ which extends some stay-at-home
protocol until May 29.” (NBC4)
“’The name is important — Stay Safe Ohio. Not a stay-at-home order,’ DeWine explained
during Friday’s press conference. “We’ve reached a new stage and I think that’s good news
for everybody.” (NBC4)
• # of deaths per million: 47.7
• # of Unemployment claims: 494,309
• Unemployment increase: 3270.87%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1
· non-essential: May 4 for construction, distribution, manufacturing, office work;
May 12 for consumer retail and services
• Governor: Mike DeWine
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 14, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

48 Cohn, The Hill

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OKLAHOMA: A
“Oklahoma has a “safer-at-home” order, which recommends people over age 65 stay
home, until May 6. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) indicated he hopes the state can begin reopening
May 1 if the “downward” trend in cases continues. He allowed previously suspended
elective surgeries to resume as of April 24”49 (The Hill)
Oklahoma Gov. Stitt reopened some businesses starting Friday, May 1; however, Mayors of
both Edmond and Tulsa are not allowing for the reopening of those businesses.
• # of deaths per million: 41.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 155,312
• Unemployment increase: 2455.33%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 24 elective surgeries; April 30 minor medical
procedures
· non-essential: April 24 for personal service businesses; May 1 for other
nonessential businesses
• Governor: Kevin Stitt
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 14, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

OREGON: D
“Oregon’s stay-at-home order does not have an end date yet. Many businesses are also
closed indefinitely. Gov. Kate Brown (D) plans a “smart and deliberate” reopening for the
state, beginning by allowing “non-urgent” medical procedures to restart on May 1”50 (The
Hill)
“I want to start with the idea of reopening the state, over time, and under those
prerequisites that I mentioned. I’m still struggling to see how this is going to work without
either an effective treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine, both of which seem to be more
than a year away”51 (opb.org)
• # of deaths per million: 18.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 152,470
• Unemployment increase: 1101.59%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1
• Governor: Kate Brown
• Party Affiliation: Democrat

49 Cohn, The Hill


50 Cohn, The Hill
51 Miller, David. “Gov. Kate Brown Details Her Plan for Reopening Oregon,” OPB. April 18, 2020. https://www.opb.org/news/article/
kate-brown-reopen-oregon-unemployment-budget-covid-19-interview/

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• Sworn In: February 18, 2015


• State Risk Tier Level: Low

PENNSYLVANIA: F
“Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order expires May 8. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has said he plans to
ease restrictions starting then on construction, curbside alcohol pickup and vehicle sales”52
Pennsylvania has designated real estate non-essential, wiping out the spring sales season
even in the vast parts of the state with very few cases.
“The state’s reopening plan groups counties into six geographic regions and says that each
region must report a 14-day total of 50 or fewer new coronavirus infections per million
residents in order to be considered for an easing of restrictions”53 (ABC 6)
• # of deaths per million: 126.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 710,589
• Unemployment increase: 2596.17%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 27
· non-essential: May 8 (likely) for some businesses, including retail
· other: May 8 (likely) for child care (certain regions)
• Governor: Tom Wolf
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 20, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: High

RHODE ISLAND: D
“Rhode Island’s stay-at-home order expires May 8. Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) plans to
reopen “industry by industry in phases”54 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 161.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 68,338
• Unemployment increase: 2051.56%
• Reopening businesses:
· restaurants: May 9 (likely) with limited seating
• Governor: Gina Raimondo
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 6, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: High

52 Cohn, The Hill


53 ABC 6, “Virus restrictions to be eased in 24 Pennsylvania counties,” May 1,2020 https://6abc.com/coronavirus-pennsylvania-covid-
19-pennsylavnia-in-pa-deaths/6139929/
54 Cohn, The Hill

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SOUTH CAROLINA: B
“South Carolina’s “state of emergency” order closing all nonessential businesses expires April
27. However, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) is allowing some public beaches and retail stores,
including department stores and bookstores, to reopen starting April 20”55 (The Hill)
“In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster announced at a Monday press conference that
certain businesses in the state would be allowed to reopen, cancelling the restrictions he
made two weeks ago in an attempt to fight the spread of the coronavirus. He said beaches
may open, depending on guidance from local jurisdictions”56 (TIME)
• # of deaths per million: 24.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 248,836
• Unemployment increase: 3631.52%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: Medical centers will resume April 20
· non-essential: April 21 for some retail at 20% capacity
• Governor: Henry McMaster
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 24, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

SOUTH DAKOTA: A
“South Dakota does not have a stay-at-home order. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) says social
distancing efforts have worked to “flatten the curve” in the state, saying the one “hot spot”
was the Smithfield Foods plant in Sioux Falls”57 (The Hill). “Noem said her decision to resist
ordering business closures already put the state at phase one of Trump’s plan to reopen
state economies”58 (USNews)
• # of deaths per million: 9.0
• # of Unemployment claims: 19,625
• Unemployment increase: 3898.62%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 28
· non-essential: April 28 guidance provided for businesses to reopen
• Governor: Kristi Noem
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 5, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

55 Cohn, The Hill


56 Bates, Josiah. “South Carolina to Reopen Some Businesses Immediately, Georgia Plans the Same for Later in the Week,” Time. April
20, 2020 https://time.com/5824473/georgia-south-carolina-reopen-businesses-coronavirus/
57 Cohn, The Hill
58 Associated Press. “Noem Says More Testing Supplies Needed to Identify Hot Spots,” US News. April 22, 2020. https://www.usnews.
com/news/best-states/south-dakota/articles/2020-04-20/noem-cdc-advice-for-smithfield-wont-be-hard-to-implement

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TENNESSEE: A
“Tennessee’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. Gov. Bill Lee (R) said Monday that
“the vast majority of businesses” would be allowed to re-open on May 1.
“Restaurants will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity starting on Monday. Retail
outfits will be able to do the same starting on Wednesday”59 (News 4 Nashville)
*announced April 24th
• # of deaths per million: 23.0
• # of Unemployment claims: 253,041
• Unemployment increase: 2885.43%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: May 1
· non-essential: April 29 retail at 50% capacity; May 6 most hair salons/barbers
· restaurants: April 27 at 50% capacity
• Governor: Bill Lee
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 19, 2019
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

TEXAS: B
Texas’s stay-at-home order ended April 30. “Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on April 17
that state parks would reopen on April 20 and some stores could start offering “retail to
go” starting April 24. He said face coverings would still be required”60 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 18.4
• # of Unemployment claims: 869,830
• Unemployment increase: 1998.86%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 22
· non-essential: May 1 for retail, malls, movie theaters at 25% capacity (if less than
5 cases in rural counties 50% capacity); May 18 for personal care and gyms
· restaurants: May 1 for restaurants at 25% capacity (less than 5 cases in rural
counties 50% capacity; May 18 bars
• Governor: Greg Abbott
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 20, 2015
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

59 Wenzel, Joseph. “Governor releases steps to reopen Tennessee,” WSMV. April 28, 2020. https://www.wsmv.com/news/governor-
releases-steps-to-reopen-tennessee/article_dcfdb2fe-863d-11ea-accb-5b4b97550721.html
60 Cohn, The Hill

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UTAH: B
Utah’s equivalent of a stay-at-home order expired May 1. “Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has said
he hopes to reopen the state in three phases starting at the beginning of May. He said he
hopes to reopen sit-down dining and gyms and allow elective surgeries starting on May
1. Herbert’s phased plan indicates some “stabilization” efforts that will likely include some
ongoing social distancing continuing through September”61 (The Hill)
• # of deaths per million: 10.0
• # of Unemployment claims: 76,828
• Unemployment increase: 2395.14%
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 21
· non-essential: May 1 for businesses including gyms and personal care services
· restaurants: May 1
• Governor: Gary Herbert
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: August 11, 2009
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

VERMONT: C
“Vermont’s stay-at-home order ends May 15. Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced April 17 that
some “low contact” businesses would be allowed to begin reopening with a two-person
staff beginning April 20” (The Hill)
“Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed an addendum outlining a phased approach and five
requirements for businesses to start reopening”62 (WWLP)
• # of deaths per million: 64.1
• # of Unemployment claims: 32,570
• Unemployment increase: 1667.88%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: May 15
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: not before May 15
· non-essential: April 27 Farmers Markets, construction and manufacturing
(groups of 5), garden centers
• Governor: Phil Scott
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 5, 2017
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

61 Cohn, The Hill


62 Katrina Kincade, “Vermont residents react to governor’s plan to reopen the state,” WWLP. April 22, 2020 https://www.wwlp.com/
news/health/coronavirus/vermont-residents-react-to-governors-plan-to-reopen-the-state/

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VIRGINIA: F
“Virginia’s stay-at-home order expires June 10. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) extended his order
closing essential businesses through May 8”63 (The Hill)
“Northam and federal officials have indicated they want to see a 14-day trend of declining
cases before phasing in an end to the restrictions on businesses that Northam imposed in
a series of executive orders to fight the spread of the virus” (ABC13News)
• # of deaths per million: 38.0
• # of Unemployment claims: 336,375
• Unemployment increase: 4486.67%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: June 10
• Reopening businesses: must see decrease in positive tests and hospitalizations for
14 days, a significant increase in testing and contact tracing, sufficient hospital
beds and intensive care capacity, and an increasing and sustainable supply of
personal protective equipment before reopening any businesses
· elective procedures: May 1
• Governor: Ralph Northam
• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Election year: January 13, 2018
• Quote- “While we are working toward a time that we can ease some of these
restrictions, we are not there yet, but we are moving in that direction,” Northam said
during a coronavirus briefing on Friday.64
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

WASHINGTON: D
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Friday that the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home
order would be extended through at least May 31 and said there will be a four-stage phase
in for lifting of restrictions, starting with allowing retail curbside pickup, automobile sales
and car washes by mid-May. (KATU)
• # of deaths per million: 87.2
• # of Unemployment claims: 404,812
• Unemployment increase: 2403.03%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: May 4
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: “soon”
· non-essential: April 24 for existing construction projects
• Governor: Jay Inslee
• Party Affiliation: Democrat

63 Cohn, The Hill


64 Brittney McGraw, “Gov. Northam announces plan to reopen Virginia,” WSLS. April 25, 2020. https://www.wsls.com/news/
local/2020/04/25/gov-northam-announces-plan-to-reopen-virginia/

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• Sworn In: January 16, 2013


• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

WEST VIRGINIA: D
“Governor Jim Justice (R-WV) is lifting the West Virginia stay-at-home order and moving
towards ‘safer-at-home’ approach. The stay-at-home order will be lifted on Monday, May 4,
2020. The governor’s plan includes the reopening of small businesses with fewer than 10
employees, barber shops and dog groomers. As for restaurants – inside dining is still not
allowed, but outdoor dining services are.” (WVNS)
• # of deaths per million: 14.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 75,689
• Unemployment increase: 2451.57%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: in place indefinitely
• Reopening businesses:
· elective procedures: April 28 hospital elective procedures; April 30 other
outpatient health care providers
· non-essential: May 4 (expected) for small businesses (less than 10 employees)
and professional care services
· restaurants: May 4 (expected) for outdoor dining (with social distancing)
• Governor: Jim Justice
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Election year: January 16, 2017
• Quote- “we want to get back to work, but we want to do so as prudently as we
possibly can.”65 (12WBOY)
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

WISCONSIN: F
• # of deaths per million: 41.9
• # of Unemployment claims: 230,709
• Unemployment increase: 1506.75%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: May 26
• Reopening businesses: “Badger Bounce back isn’t a plan to reopen, it is a
declaration that Wisconsin is closed until the fall”66 (Maclver Institute).
· elective procedures: Hospitals announced resumption April 23
· non-essential: April 27 for nonessential businesses to offer curbside drop-offs
• Governor: Tony Evers

65 12 WBOY, “WV Gov. Jim Justice touches on state reopening plans, announces state’s deaths have risen to 29,” April 22, 2020.
https://www.wboy.com/news/health/coronavirus/wv-gov-jim-justice-schedules-wednesday-coronavirus-update-for-400-p-m/
66 MacIver News, “MI Analysis: Badger Bounce Back Isn’t A Plan To Reopen, It Is A Declaration That Wisconsin Is Closed Until The
Fall,” MacIver Institute. April 24, 2020. https://www.maciverinstitute.com/2020/04/mi-analysis-badger-bounce-back-isnt-a-plan-to-
reopen-it-is-a-declaration-that-wisconsin-is-closed-until-the-fall/

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• Party Affiliation: Democrat
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• Quote- “The goal of the “Badger Bounce Back” plan is to decrease cases and deaths
to a low level while increasing capacity in hospitals, so the phased reopening of
businesses is possible. Dr. Rai said this starts with a 14-day decline in positive
COVID-19 tests”67 (WEAU).
• State Risk Tier Level: Medium

WYOMING: A
“Governor Mark Gordon has announced that new public health orders effective May 1 will
allow gyms, barber shops, hair salons and other personal care services to reopen under
specific operating conditions designed to minimize public health risk from COVID-19. Other
parts of the phased approach involve easing restrictions on day cares and issuing guidance
to hospitals allowing them to resume elective surgeries.” (KULR)
• # of deaths per million: 3.5
• # of Unemployment claims: 15,658
• Unemployment increase: 1394.09%
• Stay-at-home expiration date: No stay-at-home order, but orders currently set in
place will expire April 30
• Reopening businesses: “Gordon said under new orders, barber shops, cosmologists
and gyms will likely be able to reopen with modifications.”68 (WyomingNewsNow)
· elective procedures: May 1
· other: May 1 daycare with restrictions
• Governor: Mark Gordon
• Party Affiliation: Republican
• Sworn In: January 7, 2019
• Quote: “The plan, which will be implemented in phases, will be driven by two
principles, public safety and getting people back to work.”69 (WyomingNewsNow)
• State Risk Tier Level: Low

67 Denton Postlewalt, ““Badger Bounce Back” plan looks to safely reopen Wisconsin,” WEAU, April 21, 2020. https://www.weau.com/
content/news/Badger-Bounce-Back-plan-looks-to-reopen-safety-reopen-Wisconsin-569836161.html
68 Max Cotton, “Gov. Gordon announces COVID-19 reopening guidelines,” Wyoming News Now, April, 23, 2020. https://www.
wyomingnewsnow.tv/content/news/Gov-Gordon-announces-COVID-19-reopening-guidelines-569899401.html
69 Ibid.
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